See­ing my family’s church con­se­crate a space of its own—years after a denom­i­na­tion­al split and legal fight—reminded me of God’s prov­i­dence in where he places us.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

I held back tears as the bish­op knocked on the doors of the new sanc­tu­ary of the Falls Church Angli­can (TCFA) for the first time last Sun­day.

“Lift up your heads, O you gates, and be lift­ed up, you ever­last­ing doors, and the King of glo­ry shall come in,” said The Rt. Rev. John Guernsey, quot­ing Psalm 24 (ESV). The con­gre­ga­tion replied, “Who is the King of glo­ry? It is the Lord, strong and mighty, even the Lord, mighty in bat­tle. The Lord of hosts, he is the king of glo­ry,”

The promi­nent North­ern Vir­ginia church, now part of the Angli­can Church in North Amer­i­ca (ACNA), had lost its 250-year-old his­toric church prop­er­ty after a long, high-pro­file l egal dis­pute with the Epis­co­pal Church that spanned 2006–2012.

Guernsey, bish­op of the Dio­cese of the Mid-Atlantic, stepped through those doors into the church’s new build­ing, a stripped, white, Goth­ic-style church, with light pour­ing through ceil­ing-high win­dows on either side.

By the time the ser­vice began—the first of two con­se­cra­tion ser­vices that would draw 2,000 peo­ple total—the sanc­tu­ary was packed to stand­ing room only. Even fold­ing chairs placed in the aisles had been filled.

Guernsey and recent­ly installed rec­tor Samuel Fer­gu­son invit­ed the con­gre­ga­tion to par­tic­i­pate in the bless­ing of the new space, with spe­cial prayers for the musi­cal instru­ments, com­mu­nion table, bap­tismal font, pul­pit, and even the sound sys­tem. With every step, the con­gre­ga­tion prayed respon­sive­ly and sang in praise to God for bring­ing them home.

My fam­i­ly start­ed attend­ing TFCA in 2006, when I was in col­lege, and my mom has worked for the church since 2011. I am now a mem­ber of a sis­ter Angli­can parish in the area, Church of the Ascen­sion, …

Con­tin­ue read­ing

Source link